We are just starting to see the deployment of robots in a commercial setting and most of the pieces are in place for Robotics as a Service. This project is dedicated to making it even easier to do interesting and useful robotics applications using inexpensive differential GPS.

Differential GPS gives enhanced accuracy (<10 cm radius vs the normal 3000 cm radius) which can enable applications such as landing a quadcopter on a small platform or keeping a mobile robot on the sidewalk. This accuracy is achieved by compensating for errors which accumulate in the GPS signals as they pass through the atmosphere. Differential GPS basestations compare their known positions to the signals they are receiving to determine what has gone wrong. The corrections they calculate can then be sent to other GPS units to improve their accuracy by compensating for the error.

Since the atmosphere is constantly changing, differential GPS units need a stream of newly calculated corrections from basestations in their area. They don't offer any better performance without a nearby (~10 km) basestation, so the challenge is to make sure that basestation updates are available everywhere. Traditionally, an expensive basestation would be owned by a commercial entity and they would share updates on a pay per play basestation (with a few free options).

People have started to use cheap single frequency basestations, but sharing the corrections hasn't really caught up with the innovations in hardware. Most people are only sending corrections to their own devices (using direct radio links) and it is really hard to share the vital data they are generating. Solving this problem is where Pylon GPS comes in.

Pylon GPS makes it easy to share GPS corrections from your basestation and allows mobile units to get corrections from any nearby basestations. This means that when a Pylon GPS basestation is deployed, everyone within 10 km of the basestation can get updates and create applications using differential GPS.

For details on how it works, look at the API documentation.